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09-18-2012, 12:42 PM
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Good luck, VI and congrats for defeating a very good Pittsburgh team!

These are some strategies and keys to the series for Zambia:

1) Match Doug Young and Miroslav Dvorak against Romnes and MacDougall whenever possible.I agree with VI's previous opponents that Romnes and MacDougall are Lokomotiv's only top notch consistent offensive threats (Briere only scores at a historically noteworthy level in the playoffs).

2) Take advantage of Briere's cherry picking and uninterest in defensive play. It was shocking to me to see Briere stand around doing nothing while the Devils got scoring chance after scoring chance in this last year's playoffs. Reminded me of Pavel Bure during the regular season. We all know that Briere has put up extraordinary offensive numbers in the playoffs since the lockout, but he sure given a lot back to the other team.

-9 career in the playoffs and -5 since the lockout. That's an absolutely brutal +/- (over a large sample of games) when you consider:

a) Briere has spent his post-lockout career beating up on second rate competition while fellow centers Chris Drury, then Mike Richards / Jeff Carter, then Claude Giroux / Sean Couterier take the tougher assignments
b) he puts up a ton of offense, which should give him lots of pluses. So he's definitely getting a ton of minuses against that second rate competition to be a minus player in the playoffs

How does Zambia Mania take advantage of Briere?
a) Match either the Haynes and Sands line against him. Both Haynes and Sands have the defensive ability to contain Briere, and both lines have the quick-strike counter ability to punish his cherry picking in the counterattack - Haynes, Ward, and Sullivan are all offensively dangerous and all were among the fastest skaters of their eras.
b) Mike Green and Mark Streit will be very useful in head manning rushes the other way when Briere is cheating offensively and both can take advantage of any powerplay-like opportunities created by Briere's cherry picking. It will up to Walt Buswell and Scott Hannan to watch and make sure Briere doesn't get loose.

Briere will get loose sometimes and get his points, but I'm confident that his style will lead to more goals-against than goals-for in this series. Briere's high risk style will be especially dangerous when backed by the Goheen - MacNamara pair that I think is defensively questionable

3) Take advantage of powerplays

I think that Zambia Mania has a significantly better PP than anything our opponents can put together. Andy Green and Mark Streit have the best established offense in the series among defensemen, one is a RH shot and one is a LH shot. And neither is playing big PK minutes, so I expect this pair to play the majority of every PP. Young and Dvorak come on at the very end of an unsuccessful PP for mop up duty - which has the benefit of getting out top shutdown pair out there for the next shift.

Up front, Vanek is an established slot man, and much better offensively than someone like Blair. As far as I know, Lokomotiv doesn't have a guy who excels in front of the net, but I could be mistaken. I think Haynes/Ward is at least as good as Romnes/MacDougall. Briere is good for a second unit, but where is his support?

4) Desired matchups

Doug Young and Miroslav Dvorak against the Blair line.
Buswell/Green or Streit/Hannon against Briere
Anyone against Lokomotiv's 3rd and 4th lines

Haynes, or Sands against Briere
Marchant, Sands, or Haynes against Blair
Smith against Carpenter/Acton

To facilitate the forward matchups, the Donald Smith line will take very few defensive zone draws

Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 09-25-2012 at 12:53 AM. Reason: spelling
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